The strangest thing about this unprecedented moment in human history that we live in is this : everything resonates with it. Listen to a love song, and it will become a note of adoration or longing for not just a person but an earlier way of life in which stepping down didn’t require a second thought.
Kanishk Seth’s Thehra is no exception. His breezy baritone intones over a few chosen notes on minimalistic instrumentation (with some electronic sheaths thrown in) as he sings of the dull miset of being stuck in a feeling. As the name suggests, the track is about feeling suspended in time, only dreaming of moving forward with being able to do it. With a few choice words, Seth describes the uncertainty, numbness and ennui that overcomes anyone who has known the feeling of love-lorn longing.
However, as Kanishk himself put it “ This song was written and composed many weeks after the nationwide lockdown had started (due to the pandemic) and unfortunately I still resonate with it.” As much of the world (and especially India) wrestles with the social, economic and human costs of the pandemic, there is little surety of what future we can expect. While listeners can certainly long for lost or separated loves, the song hits hard when acting as a backdrop to a soul longing for simple freedoms (trips to other cities, carefree walks on crowded streets, quick deliveries and all that jazz).
The grief in the song takes on greater relevance, because it would not be amiss to say that the whole world in grieving right now. Seth’s voice is soothing and offers solace, but what he sings about is the core of a sadness everyone can feel. It’s safe to say he speaks for us all.